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Comments: The Value of Brevity

Updated on July 29, 2011

IMHO short comments are better!

You may have read my HUB about the ideal length of HUBS called The Long and the Short of It. I am of the opinion that short HUBS are better, and since writing that HUB in 2009, I have come to be of the opinion that short comments are better, too. I think this is especially true when a controversial subject is covered. I guess a lot of people like to open up a HUB and find hours worth of scrolling through angry, accusatory nit-picking and argument to sort through, but I am not one of them.

Generally speaking, when I see this kind of HUB, I scan through the comments and leave something brief at the end - and that’s a shame because I’m sure some of those comments reflect a lot of time and effort on the part of the writers.

This is why I began to wonder about the concept of simply working long comments up into HUBS of their own and exchanging links. I really can’t see any point at all in writing a thousand word comment.

Think about it...

Writing is Hard Work!

Why give it away?
Why give it away?

When you write a comment you:

  • Lose control of it. It may disappear, or you may want to edit something. Too bad!
  • Get no compensation for it. You get no ad sense revenue, no “likes” on FaceBook, no Tweets, no nothing!
  • Get no addition to the number of HUBS you have written.

If the HUB your great comment is attached to sinks into obscurity, or is removed, there goes your comment!

While your rating as a commenter may go up, you could accomplish this with good 100 word comments.

Make it a HUB!

So, for some time now, I have thought that, if I write a comment of more than 300 words (HUB minimum) I will work it into a HUB and let the author of the original HUB know. Conversely, I have decided that, on any controversial HUB I write, I will establish guidelines that reflect this.

Recently, I had the opportunity to do this when my comment on a political HUB ended up being 700+ words. I published it as an opinion piece and let the author know, and all hell broke loose!

I checked this HUB at 3 a.m. after a long night of writing contract type articles for a client and found quite a few comments and a goodly number of lengthy oppositional sorts of comments!

Which caused me to say “ACK!” and implement my idea at once!

If you want to give this method a try, don’t do it that way! It never occurred to me that people would write a 300+ word comment in the HUB pages screen and not keep a copy of it! Many feathers were badly ruffled, and I do indeed apologize for the inconvenience.

However - I still think this is a good idea because:

  • Limiting comments to 300 words presents a more readable page and a better reader experience.
  • Turning longer comments into HUBS and forming an interlinking network creates more traffic.
  • This, in turn, creates more revenue and increases readership.

I say this because I experienced all of these results with this one HUB that started out as a comment.

So, I am now launching into a follow-up of this opinion HUB that was a comment with a series of researched articles. This is a project I would not have undertaken if I had simply left a 700 word comment on someone else’s HUB. And…I plan to use the 300 word comment guideline for this project.

Here is what the guideline looks like at this point:

Comments guidelines...

Make the best use of the resources we have at hand! If you find that your comment is going to be longer than 300 words, take the very same words you used in your comment and create a HUB. Then link it to mine and any others that are applicable. I will link back to you and respond to you with a short comment, if appropriate, or a HUB.

Please address the issues brought up in the article in a direct, non-accusatory, non-inflammatory manner.

This will make better reading and be advantageous for everyone.


Of course, this will be tweaked as time goes on and I get more feedback. I will be interested to see how it works out for me in terms of the results I have mentioned above, and I hope other HUBBERS will want to try it. I’d like to know how it turns out for them as well.

What do you think?

What style of comments do you prefer?

See results


Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    LOL! Yes, and when you do have a really fine comment, it just gets lost in the wash eventually! Much better to take a few moments to write it up as a HUB and link it with the HUB you want to respond to. Then it can stand on it's own merits!

  • profile image 

    7 years ago from upstate, NY

    I agree that spending excessive time arguing accomplishes nothing. Unless you have a very specific point to clarify debating seldom changes minds it's more likely to harden the opinions of those who disagree with you and as you mentioned, your not even getting paid for it! I agree that unless your william Shakespeare, your better of not boring your readers with excessively long Hubs.-WBA

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Exactly, Norma Ruth! That's what I think, too, and it's a shame for people to put so much effort into a comment and then have it just disappear eventually. If they make it into a free-standing HUB, it will continue to get interest and generate comments of its own. It can be linked to other HUBS with similar topics, and it will generate more income in the long-run.

    It's been hard to get this idea going, mostly because I introduced it in the wrong way, but I hope it will catch on because I think it will be beneficial to everyone who tries it!

    Thanks for commenting! :)

  • NormaRuth profile image


    7 years ago from Oregon

    I have been doing this for only one day, and articles such as this are helping me learn the ropes. I feel short comments are helpful, and the few long-winded ones I have seen only get a short scan and not a full reading by me.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Thank you, Phil! I appreciate it! :)

  • Phil Plasma profile image

    Phil Plasma 

    7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

    Excellent point - I just received an extra long comment on one of my hubs, I'll point her to this hub to let her know she should take those comments and hub them.

    I for one rarely write long comments, but in the future I will consider hubbing a response to a hub rather than commenting if I can manage to have enough to say about it. Great hub earning you a vote-up and awesome.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    My thoughts exactly, Violet! Thanks! :D

  • VioletSun profile image


    7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    Hi Susanne, I admit I don't like overly long hubs (even if on occasion, I may write this way) or 1,000 words comments or emails(I am exaggerating here, LOL). Seriously, I find brevity much more enjoyable and clearer in thought. When we get caught up with our emotions a lot of egoic baggage gets in the way.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Good thoughts! To me it's more freeing because it gives me all of the tools that we can use with the HUB. Plus, sometimes my writing is faster, easier, and more fluid when I write as a comment. Then I want to keep it and publish it as a HUB! :D

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image


    7 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    A good idea but, we are restricted enough and if someone wants to rant in a comment then so be it. An auto comment could come up if over 300 words suggesting a HUB but not another rule. Writing to me is a fluid thing that ebbs and flows and doesn't need to have restrictions. I think brevity has its place but not always. Thanks



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